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Early Years Support Practitioner

Early Years Support Practitioner (SEND) Service


Who is the service for?

We work with pre-school children with disabilities and their families. The service is for families who live in Bristol.

What we do

We support parents who have a young child (0-5, not yet in school) who has any type of additional need or disability. We run groups for SEND children and parents to attend, and we offer short-term, one-to-one support to parents who are referred into our service and meet our criteria, by visiting the home.

Our main role is to empower parents by providing them with support and information to meet their individual needs.

We offer:

  • Emotional and practical support for parents and carers.
  • Coordination of services to families when many different agencies are involved to ensure a joined-up, holistic service.
  • Providing information for families and improved exchange of information between practitioners.
  • Support to the child and their parent/carer to access therapy and support groups.


Click on a link below to view a list of resources for the following subjects:

Two preschool children playing with stacking cups.

Information and signposting


If you are a parent or carer of an early years child who has additional needs, you are welcome to attend our weekly Rainbows stay and play group (term-time only) which our team runs across the city in conjunction with the Portage and Inclusion team (Bristol City Council). We provide a safe and welcoming space to meet other parents, get advice and support from health and education professionals, and to have fun with your child with a range of different resources. A snack for the children is provided. Your child does not need a diagnosis to attend and sessions are free. Please get in touch with us using the contact details on the flyer in the resources section if you would like to find out more.

Other professionals

If you are working with a parent/carer who has a child aged 0-5 (not yet in school) who has additional needs, please let them know about our Rainbows groups, and pass on a flyer. You are welcome to attend with a family you are supporting.

Getting help


If you are unable to attend a group, or feel you need more support, you can ask any health care or educational professional involved with your child – such as a Health Visitor, Community Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist, Nursery SENDCo – to refer your child to our team for one-to-one support. We will visit you to discuss your support needs and agree on an action plan, which will determine the number of home visits we will offer to support you.

Other professionals

You can make a referral into our team to request more support for a family via single point of entry form. Please ensure you have read our referral criteria, and make sure you include as much information as possible regarding the type of support that is being requested. If accepted, we will arrange a triage visit to determine the level of support we can offer depending on the outcome of our initial assessment.

Getting more help (more extensive goal-based help)


If, following our short-term offer of support, you feel you need further help around your child’s needs, we will identify who can take on this role and refer on as necessary.

You can find more help via the external links in the Resources section.

Benefits/entitlements – you can self-refer yourself to an advisor from the Children’s Centre Advice and Support Team by sending your info to

Autism – If you have a child awaiting an ASD assessment, you can access the NAS Earlybird course while you wait, by registering here: Family Learning courses and seminars for parents and carers (

I am a professional...

See the Early Years Practitioner referral page on Remedy for details on how to refer into the service.

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